Vanderblowout: Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt in Nashville for first time since 1982

pHOTOS BY AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley pulls linebacker Jacques Smith off the field during Saturday's game against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

pHOTOS BY AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee coach Derek Dooley pulls linebacker Jacques Smith off the field during Saturday's game against Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.

Vanderbilt defensive end Johnell Thomas celebrates after making an interception on a pass from Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray on Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Vanderbilt defensive end Johnell Thomas celebrates after making an interception on a pass from Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray on Saturday.

NASHVILLE — The last voice on the soundtrack Saturday night at Vanderbilt Stadium belonged to a Commodore fan screaming to no one in particular:

“I don’t want to leave! You’re gonna have to throw me out.’’

His exuberance was understandable. Nights like this don’t come along even once a generation.

Vanderbilt’s ecstasy was all the more delicious because it was also agony for archrival Tennessee.

The Commodores’ 41-18 drubbing of the Vols before a crowd of 40,350 settled a number of matters.

For one, that UT coach Derek Dooley was mistaken last year when he told his team after an overtime win in Knoxville that the one thing Tennessee “always does is kick the (expletive) out of Vanderbilt.’’

This time it was Vandy doing the kicking. The Commodores thoroughly dominated the second half, expanding a 13-10 lead to 41-10 without interruption from a listless UT offense.

The ’Dores are 7-4 and at 5-3, five-game winners in the SEC for the first time since 1935.

For another, a bowl trip is off the table for Tennessee (4-7) for the second consecutive year. That hasn’t happened since 1977-78.

“We are (beyond) playing for a bowl,’’ Dooley said, looking to the season-finale against Kentucky. “I hope they’ll play for the seniors.’’

The evening also left Tennessee with the dubious distinction of being 0-7 in SEC play for the first time since the conference opened for business in 1933.

“I don’t think you can say where this program is from one game,’’ Dooley said. “We had some really good games where we didn’t win.’’

Saturday was really a stinker.

The Commodores outgained UT 442 yards to 303. Only 77 of Tennessee’s yards came in the second half.

The Commodores rolled out 28 consecutive points in the second half before the Vols registered any kind of response.

When it came, it was from a usual suspect — Cordarrelle Patterson on an 81-yard punt return touchdown.

“You can’t not give them credit,’’ Dooley said. “They held us to 10 points on offense.’’

UT’s problems started at the man who touches the ball on every snap.

Junior quarterback Tyler Bray had a miserable night, going 11-of-29 passing for 103 yards. He threw two interceptions and was relieved in each half by sophomore Justin Worley.

Bray’s lone highlight was a 14-yard TD pass to Zach Rogers in the second quarter that gave UT its only lead, 7-3.

A pair of interceptions, one by Bray then one by Worley, gave the Commodores short fields to erase it.

A Casey Spear field goal after Bray’s interception left Tennessee ahead 7-6. Worley’s interception included a 36-yard return by Andre Hal and that led to Jordan Rodgers’ 11-yard TD pass to Chris Boyd to make it 13-7.

Michael Palardy’s 28-yard field goal cut the difference to 13-10 at the half. The Vols might as well have boarded the buses and headed back to Knoxville. They were done.

Tennessee took the second-half kickoff and set the tone for what was to follow with a quick three-and-out and punt.

The Commodores were energized, requiring only three plays to cover 85 yards. Jordan Matthews got the final 47 on an end-around run for a 20-10 lead.

Moments later, Bray offered up his second interception, which the enterprising Hal returned 32 yards to the Tennessee 4.

From the 3, tailback Wesley Tate lofted a jump pass to tight end Kris Kentera and it was 27-10.

After another three-and-out by the Vols, Byron Moore’s end-zone interception dodged a Vandy kill shot -- but it was only a temporary stay of execution.

Following another UT punt, the Commodores drove 59 yards in 11 plays, Zac Stacy getting the score on a 10-yard run.

At 34-10, Tennessee was toast.

At 41-10, following Matthews’ 71-yard TD pass from Rodgers, the Vols were getting routed.

Patterson then did on special teams what neither he nor any other Vol could do on offense – find the end zone.

The game ended with Vandy taking a knee at the Tennessee 17. Dooley and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin exchanged a quick handshake and hug at midfield.

Although UT athletic director Dave Hart has made no announcement, the assumption is Franklin will be greeting a new Tennessee coach next year.

Since that opening-night feel-good triumph over North Carolina State, the Vols’ only wins have come against Georgia State, Akron and Troy.

Against Vandy, the defense surrendered at least 38 points for the seventh consecutive game. But it might have fared better with some help from the usually volatile offense.

The defense made a pair of goal-line stands in the first half, forcing Vandy to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

As the second half played out, however, it began to buckle under the weight of the offense’s continuing no-show.

In the third quarter, Tennessee didn’t have a single first down until after Vanderbilt had marched for three touchdowns.

Bray’s string of three outstanding performances against South Carolina, Troy and Missouri came to an abrupt halt. Vandy even managed to sack him twice, something no other opponent has accomplished this year.

Worley was 8-of-11 for 51 yards passing. Marlin Lane’s 108 rushing yards and 6.8 per-carry average were highlights that were lost in the deluge of bad news.

Or, from Vanderbilt’s perspective, a deluge of good news.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

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Comments » 257

kd45music writes:

I have to give Dooley credit for one thing - he showed up for his postgame interview on the radio. That takes some courage after that embarassment of a football game. He'll be reading the want ads tomorrow morning.

JDX47 writes:

Well, I don't think there will be anybody saying "let's give Doole one more year" after that clunker. I guess this is officially "bottom."

pingkr62 writes:

And possibly the worse beating by Vandy in 80 years.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

RIP

We start all over again.

It is time.

ParrotheadVol writes:

I WILL BLEED ORANGE UNTIL THE DAY i DIE!

I say that in the wake of a year I would only wish on Gator fans. We get what we deserve in hiring a Dooley, are still receiving the fallout of the Angel of Death (aka Lane Kiffin), and thank goodness for having the protection from the ever thoughtful NCAA, which knows better than anyone how to kick a school in the gut, hard, and repeatably while they are down. Sorry NCAA, still breathing try again.

I'm looking forward to great years ahead on Rocky Top that have nothing to do with Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley or the NCAA. There is way to much talent and tradition here not be the best! We deserve must better. Go Big Orange!

doctorvol#211700 writes:

probably not much worse than Ky 2011, another stellar moment.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

It's official ....Dooley's out of here

badnewsvols writes:

Is this the worst team in the past fifty years to wear the orange?
Honestly, under Dooley's management, we lost to Kentucky for the first time in 26 years, set a new defensive low with 721 yards allowed against Troy and had an embarassing loss to Vandy in Nashville for the first time since 1982.
Anyone that says 'lets give Dooley another year' can eat it...he shouldn't even be allowed to ride the team bus home.

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

Faking the punt I can handle. I can't handle faking the game.

voldawg writes:

They lay on the beat down and on top of it all, Vandy's assistant coaches' wives are hot!!!

UT2006 writes:

in response to kd45music:

I have to give Dooley credit for one thing - he showed up for his postgame interview on the radio. That takes some courage after that embarassment of a football game. He'll be reading the want ads tomorrow morning.

hopefully he'll be on the beach somewhere and not on the sidelines

VOLnChattTown writes:

Dooley said in the post game interview "I've loved the State of Tennessee and loved the Vols"

I wonder if he got fired before the game and UT just didn't make the announcement!

grewupvolsfan writes:

Can we all start a tally for the money we all wasted on season tickets this year? $800 for my family, and oh, $40 for the padded seat that we ended up not using because most of our time was spent returning to the tailgate.

VolGrad writes:

This year has been a disaster for me football wise. Neither my Vols or my college fantasy team have done well. It has the same record at this point.

O well, there are still my Steelers.

Nonetheless, Go Vols! Beat the Wildcats!!!

wishwehadabettercoach writes:

You will not have Tennessee to kick around anymore not so much

jacksontnbob writes:

Hey Dooley! GET OUT! GO AWAY! WE DON'T WANT YOU! ARE YOU DEAF? GO NOW! PLEASE!

lomas98 writes:

Lost to them in Nashville for first time in 30 years. How long has it been since vandy has scored 40 on Tennessee?

Jenna1009 writes:

as someone who was in Dooley's corner, I have no defense for the performance of tn's football team. We need a coaching change now, I am not even sure that Dooley should be allowed to coach another game.

djgovols writes:

Dooley just said on post game show they "just had a bad day at the office" !!! I hope he cleans his out when he gets back to Knoxville !!!

pingkr62 writes:

in response to ParrotheadVol:

I WILL BLEED ORANGE UNTIL THE DAY i DIE!

I say that in the wake of a year I would only wish on Gator fans. We get what we deserve in hiring a Dooley, are still receiving the fallout of the Angel of Death (aka Lane Kiffin), and thank goodness for having the protection from the ever thoughtful NCAA, which knows better than anyone how to kick a school in the gut, hard, and repeatably while they are down. Sorry NCAA, still breathing try again.

I'm looking forward to great years ahead on Rocky Top that have nothing to do with Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley or the NCAA. There is way to much talent and tradition here not be the best! We deserve must better. Go Big Orange!

Things will improve. Tennessee has had poor seasons in the past, and has always came back, I must agree thing haven't been this bad in decades, but hopefully the next coach and staff will clean up the mess that has been building over the last several years, and set us back where we belong. G.B.O.!!!

AHOUSE writes:

The only good thing after this is Kiffin lost again.

claiborneh writes:

in response to Show-me-your-TDs:

It's official ....Dooley's out of here

It was official since South Carolina

VolGrad writes:

in response to voldawg:

They lay on the beat down and on top of it all, Vandy's assistant coaches' wives are hot!!!

Funny.

jacksontnbob writes:

HIRE DAVE FART!!!!!!!!!!!!!

claiborneh writes:

To all the Dooley proponents, I'm still not a "true" Vols fan

SWVA_RockyTopVol writes:

What do ya know...another milestone for Dooley. First loss in Nashville in over 3 decades and missing a bowl game for the first time in 35 years for consecutive seasons. Congrats Derek!! Make this program and it's fans prouds...helluva job! Let DMV know you're changing your address. Good riddance!

jacksontnbob writes:

We coulda had class. We coulda been a contender. Instead, Dooley just punched his one way ticket to Palookaville.

Pitiful, just pitiful.....................

oldbasshead writes:

I'm for firing Dooley. Don't get me wrong. Let's hope that the next coaching change is not a flop like this one has been. Can you imagine 3 more years like the last three.There are no guarantees with new staff, but that is what we are faced with.

eduardo writes:

Let me see oh yeah DO THE INEVITABLE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Is there any of you out there that wanted Phil Fulmer fired 4 years ago that can say that it was a good decision? Karma is a you know what....

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

Let's take Tyler Bray out of the game ....that will show them.... we were winning..... how can you be so stupid.... worst coach of the year .....give it up for Dooley

tnvol34 writes:

NO WAY YOU CAN JUSTIFY KEEPING DOOLEY AFTER THIS DEBACKLE!!! GO VANDY, BAMA, YOU ARE BACK IN NATL CHAMP PICTURE, AFTER OREGAN AND K STATE LOOSES! GO VOLS! NEXT YEAR!!!

ACWLY writes:

Have to CONGRATULATE Vandy players and coaches, they gave us a true butt whooping. Out played us at every position. No excuses, we've found the bottom... But at least we have a ray of hope as our new coaching staff will at least give us a prayer for future success. Saddest season ever, over 60 years being a Vol and I plan on staying a Vol so all I can do is HOPE that the third time [coaching change] will be a charm. ... Any of you have a realistic idea of WHO our new coach might be???

NeedForSpeed writes:

Dooley is a Georgia sleeper agent, Trojan horse. His mission accomplished and he gets paid over the top amazingly well for it. Only at UT could you find an athletic department so stupid to enable this Doofus.

oldbasshead writes:

in response to kd45music:

I have to give Dooley credit for one thing - he showed up for his postgame interview on the radio. That takes some courage after that embarassment of a football game. He'll be reading the want ads tomorrow morning.

Dooley is a classy guy. He just can't coach or manage other coaches.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Please get the stupid McBee picture off of the main page already. We lost. Lets move on.

Oh, and then there's the Vandy loss.

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to ACWLY:

Have to CONGRATULATE Vandy players and coaches, they gave us a true butt whooping. Out played us at every position. No excuses, we've found the bottom... But at least we have a ray of hope as our new coaching staff will at least give us a prayer for future success. Saddest season ever, over 60 years being a Vol and I plan on staying a Vol so all I can do is HOPE that the third time [coaching change] will be a charm. ... Any of you have a realistic idea of WHO our new coach might be???

Don't know who is going to get it but you're going to hear Al Golden's name.

budd#207344 writes:

Quit blaming Kiffin. We have been making excuses for this guy for three years. The bottom line is he cannot coach and he has gotten rid anyone who can. Listening to some loser who is blaming the defense. Who hired the fool? dooley

pingkr62 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Is there any of you out there that wanted Phil Fulmer fired 4 years ago that can say that it was a good decision? Karma is a you know what....

Yes, firing Fulmer was a good decision. This all started in 2008. Tennessee's loss to Wyoming is all the proof that is needed. G.B.O.!!!

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to kd45music:

I have to give Dooley credit for one thing - he showed up for his postgame interview on the radio. That takes some courage after that embarassment of a football game. He'll be reading the want ads tomorrow morning.

I'm not so sure Hart is going to do anything if he hasn't by now. Hart needs to hit the road along with Dooley!

screenthis writes:

Amazing how many 'new lows' we've established this year. I truly thought we were improving going in to this year. I still was in Dooley's corner after SC. But, that depended on whether he won the games at the end of the season that he should. Now, I'll be amazed if he's still standing by Monday.

WhoDat writes:

in response to lomas98:

Lost to them in Nashville for first time in 30 years. How long has it been since vandy has scored 40 on Tennessee?

1909 is the last time Vandy scored over 40 on us

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Where are the "true Vol fans" who have continually made slanderous comments towards me and a few others for saying Dooley was a joke? I can't wait to see what they have to say about this.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to Show-me-your-TDs:

It's official ....Dooley's out of here

Official from whom?

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to NeedForSpeed:

Dooley is a Georgia sleeper agent, Trojan horse. His mission accomplished and he gets paid over the top amazingly well for it. Only at UT could you find an athletic department so stupid to enable this Doofus.

K town just became ghost town

RatherBeDrivingaTitleist writes:

There are so many disappointments about our team right now that I am not really confident that they will beat Ky. As usual, our opponent dominates the second half. We need to get a new coach that can put this miserable few years behind us and get back to Tennessee football again. I still love my vols and will support them next week no matter what. It is awful to see the give up on the defensive side at times. I never thought we could be this bad. Now I know why all of the asst. coaches left last season. They knew this was coming.

TheEffect writes:

Dooley and Tennessee got the $#|+ kicked out of em tonight by Vandy......and deservedly so for that mouthing off in the locker room last year. It shows that you damn well better respect your opponents, even in a victory.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to ParrotheadVol:

I WILL BLEED ORANGE UNTIL THE DAY i DIE!

I say that in the wake of a year I would only wish on Gator fans. We get what we deserve in hiring a Dooley, are still receiving the fallout of the Angel of Death (aka Lane Kiffin), and thank goodness for having the protection from the ever thoughtful NCAA, which knows better than anyone how to kick a school in the gut, hard, and repeatably while they are down. Sorry NCAA, still breathing try again.

I'm looking forward to great years ahead on Rocky Top that have nothing to do with Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley or the NCAA. There is way to much talent and tradition here not be the best! We deserve must better. Go Big Orange!

It must just kill you that we are as bad as we are yet keep winning. ROFL.

Surprised, though, that you aren't wishing this on Bama. I thought they were your #1 hate.

WhoDat writes:

Doolander has continued to set records at UT, unfortunately they aren't records we want to have. Just hope I see "Dooley's Fired" on Sunday, I don't think I can handle another day knowing he's still employed with UT.

chiputfan writes:

Stick a fork in Dooley....he's done! Maybe he and Kiffie can get a job working together! I think it would make a great story...."Famous head coach son (Dooley) to work with son of a coach's dad (Kiffin) who he had to let go after lose to UCLA! Hope they both choke on their turkey dinners this year!

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